The Full Story

HOW WE MET

The irony of ( and my love for ) Greece and in particular my three days spent on SANTORINI in 1994 was revealed around  two years later, in a Newlands Greek restaurant called LEECIAS...

A TRUE VISION

While I was getting through my second year at Stellenbosch, my cousin Karen invited me to her 21st birthday celebration at a (now sadly non existent) Greek restaurant opposite the Newlands train station .

 Invited guests included many people I did not know as Karen had spent a lot of her life living in Durban or Cape Town. Even though this meant we did not spend a great deal of time in each others company, the relationship that my father had with his sister, Auntie G (Karens mother) ensured that we kept in touch through the years.

I clearly remember walking into the restaurant as a confident individual even though I knew none of Karens friends.

I was seated opposite Jackies parents (Charles and Jenny) and also had my father on my left and the most gorgeous young woman I had EVER laid my eyes on seated to my right.

(Karen revealed sometime later, that she was certain Jackie and I would really enjoy each other company - which we certainly did.

I had known Charles and Jenny for a few years now (the story of how I actually got drunk for the first time and how my future father-in-law was 100% guilty of this event is to be revealed at a later date !)

This was a magical evening as Jackie and I could not stop gazing at each other, laughing wildly as well as dancing unaware that the rest of our family could see something special happening right there and then. 

Once the Ouzo was finished, the plates were all smashed on the floor and the end of the exceptional evening was upon us, I did NOT want this fairytale to end and so went to Uncle Charles to ask if I could take Jackie to a nightclub before making my way home to Stellenbosch.

The answer was a kind and polite but emphatic NO. In hindsight, I can honestly say that there is ZERO chance I as a father would ever have said YES to the twenty year old me, but I was nevertheless very disappointed. This was my Cinderella moment and Charles was the MIDNIGHT CLOCK as he whisked my future wife away.

I had no glass slipper and this was the era before mobile phones, so all I had was her name and the ambition to get together again soon. 

I famously took her table name tag back to Stellenbosch with me and when I was asked by my house mate, Murray, what I was clutching onto with such a broad smile as I got into bed - I showed him the name tag from the restaurant ...

JACKIE COETZEE

As I drifted into a very deep sleep I remember very vividly telling Murray :

I AM GOING TO MARRY THIS WOMAN ONE DAY..

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